KIKUUBE – Dr. Emmanuel Aliba Kiiza, the board chairman of the Microfinance Support Centre (MSC) has directed all district Emyooga task forces to find a way of sorting out challenges affecting the implementation of the Emyooga program.
Dr. Kiiza who is currently on a country wide tour to ascertain the success and challenges faced by the program after one year of its implementation held a meeting with Kikuube district leadership.
During the interaction with district leaders, Kiiza expressed concern that in the districts such as; Hoima, Kikuube, Kagadi, Kibaale and Kyenjojo among others which he visited, millions of Emyooga funds are yet to be disbursed to beneficiaries.
According to him, most of the SACCOs have not yet accessed the funds due to delayed release of certificates and lack of savings by SACCO members among other issues.
He says that the district Emyooga task force should find means of addressing these challenges adding that the program was initiated to help the citizens to create jobs and wealth.
He says that the district Emyooga task force should get away of addressing these challenges. He explained that this program was initiated by the President to help the citizens to create jobs and wealth but unfortunately that the money is not benefiting the intended person as it continues to lay idle on SACCO accounts.
He advised the task force which is headed by Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) to meet the SACCO members to get away of relaxing the conditions of saving 30% to ensure that beneficiaries start accessing the funds.
He noted that continuing to keep the money in banks will not make any significant meaning.
Kiiza suggested that the percentage can be reduced from 30% at least to 20% to encourage the beneficiaries to save and access the funds.
“About the 30%, I would like to clarify on this one, this rule is not written on stone that it cannot be changed, what we want our people to know is that we want to encourage you to save, you can begin with 20%, you can begin with 25% but for us we are saying if you want to begin saving well, 30% is good for you but we do not know the challenges you people are going through; if you feel you have a challenge with saving 30%, then sit with your RDCs, sit with our team and agree on suitable figure that you will save,” Kiiza advised.
Peter Banura, Kikuube District Chairman explained that there is a need for more sensitization of the technical staff and the beneficiaries about the Emyooga program.
He says that the biggest challenge faced with the program is that many of the beneficiaries, up to now, think that Emyooga money was a political incentive because it was initiated during the political season, adding that this is the reason why the money is being mismanaged.
We need to always first give people financial literacy, not only to come to dump money; MSC should have an annual program of financial literacy throughout the year, even if there are no programs to bring money to people. This ensures the next phase of these initiatives comes when people are enlightened.
Amlan Tumusime, the Kikuube Resident District Commissioner (RDC) said that the program is progressing adding that the district has so far disbursed shs 758 million out shs 1.2 billion which was given to the district.
He explained that 300 people have so far benefited from the money adding that Shs 450 million which is still in banks was part of the money of the SACCOs whose accounts were frozen after the SACCO members started mismanaging the funds.
“We have lifted the ban on some SACCO accounts which had been frozen and members have started accessing their money but we have one SACCO of the drivers which refused to take the money claiming that Shs 30million was too little for them and I am planning to go and talk to them to ensure that they take this money,” he added.
Information indicates that Hoima District and Hoima Oil City received Shs 2.24 billion for the 72 beneficiary Savings and Credit Co-operatives Organizations (SACCOs) created out of 1,460 Emyooga associations.
However, only 15 out of 72 SACCOs, which got certificates four months ago, meet the requirements and have started accessing their money.
The 15 SACCOs only get Shs 110 .8 million out of the Shs 2.24 billion.
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